Oscar Winner Vivian Baker on What It’s Like Being Ryan Reynolds’ Personal Makeup Artist, and Painting Him for Apple’s Holiday Movie Spirited

Oscar Winner Vivian Baker on What It’s Like Being Ryan Reynolds’ Personal Makeup Artist, and Painting Him for Apple’s Holiday Movie Spirited

Ryan Reynolds in Spirited/Apple TV+

There’s a particular bond that exists between a make-up artist and the particular person sitting of their chair. After all, they’re collectively for generally two to seven hours a day, typically beginning early within the morning with espresso in hand, earlier than the day’s shoot even begins. Such is the case with Oscar and Emmy winner Vivian Baker, who has had the pleasure and privilege of being the private make-up artist to Ryan Reynolds for initiatives reminiscent of Free Guy, The Adam Project, Red Notice, Mississippi Grind, Self/much less, and most lately, the brand new Apple TV+ film musical Spirited.
You would possibly say that Baker is a make-up artist to the celebrities. Her resume reads like a who’s who of Hollywood, as her celeb purchasers embody Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie (Bombshell), Tom Hanks (Charlie Wilson’s War and The Great Buck Howard), Gwyneth Paltrow (Great Expectations), Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), Hilary Swank (Amelia), and Diane Lane (Nights in Rodanthe), to call only a few. Baker started her profession within the vogue and magnificence business however fell in love with character work and prosthetics (she shared the Academy Award for Makeup and Hairstyling along with her Bombshell collaborators Kazu Hiro and Anne Morgan, and received an Emmy for her prosthetic make-up work on Drew Barrymore for the HBO miniseries Grey Gardens), finally shifting her focus to movie make-up artistry.
Below the Line lately spoke with Vivian Baker through Zoom, and she mentioned what it’s wish to be a private make-up artist for a serious film star like Reynolds, whom she says is similar down-to-earth particular person in and out of her chair. Baker discusses her mantra for being “a private” to her one-on-one purchasers: they have to be good folks and complement one another’s personalities. Reynolds checks each containers. She explains how she and Reynolds’ private hairstylist Anne Carroll created his particular “GQ” signature look for his position in Spirited as Clint Briggs, the good-looking no-nonsense businessman who will get a go to from three spirits courtesy of the Ghost of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell).
Vivian Baker picture courtesy of Apple TV+
Below the Line: Vivian, how did you turn out to be Ryan Reynolds’ private make-up artist?
Vivian Baker: I did some reshoots for Green Lantern with a extremely wonderful make-up artist. A pal of mine couldn’t do it and requested me if I may fill in for her, and I used to be very lucky to work with each Ryan and Blake [Lively]. He requested me to do plenty of issues I wasn’t accessible for, and it actually upset me. I bear in mind, someday, my husband saying, ‘What would you like?’ And I stated, ‘I need to work with Ryan.’ And actually, the cellphone rang the subsequent day, and it was him asking for one thing. And I used to be on the level the place it didn’t matter what it was, I simply wished to work with him once more. It was wonderful.
BTL: What had been among the movies that you just didn’t get to do collectively?
Baker: I nonetheless don’t all the time get to do every little thing between our schedules, however man, I really like working with him and I really like Blake. I wasn’t in a position to do one with Jeff Bridges (R.I.P.D.), [or] The Hitman[‘s Bodyguard movies], a few of these…
BTL: Did you all the time need to be a private make-up artist?
Baker: I’m a purist of a make-up artist. I actually wished to solely be a division head. I by no means actually got down to need to be a private make-up artist, [but] my profession simply went that manner. One of the issues that I sort of put out into the universe was that if I personally solely wished to work with [certain] folks, I’d be a greater particular person on the finish of the day since you spend a lot time with them in their very own proper. It’s very intimate as a result of that’s who you’re targeted on. I’ve to say that I’ve been blessed.
Ryan Reynolds in Spirited/Apple TV+
BTL: I believe the make-up artist and the actor are one of many closest relationships on a set, so what’s Ryan like within the chair?
Baker: He’s very businesslike. He’s all the time bought issues to do. I believe his focus is on me. “I respect what you do, and I’m going to return right here as a result of I belief you and I belief that you just’re going to get me in and out as quick as doable as a result of I’ve my household and my youngsters. I’ve loads of issues to do, and I would like you to do actually good work. Please don’t spend 10 extra minutes than it’s essential.” And , I discover that that’s fairly in keeping with anybody that you just’re a private to, as a result of they’re normally fairly busy [and] have issues that they should focus on. I believe they simply need you to do job and belief that you just’re going to return and carry every little thing to the desk, and they don’t must pat you on the pinnacle to make you’re feeling safe. They know that you just’re going to carry it anyway.
BTL: Is there something he does specifically whilst you’re working on him?
Baker: Well, generally nothing. Sometimes you possibly can inform that he’s focusing on his strains. Sometimes he’s eager about that. If there’s one other actor, like on this one, Will Ferrell could be within the trailer as properly, and generally they’d chat. Sometimes there are texts going off and he’s dealing with stuff, however he’s very skilled. He’s not one to make it tough within the chair. He is available in, he sits down, and he makes it sort of straightforward. He offers me his full consideration. He’s respectful of my artwork [and] respectful of what I do. And once more, , that’s wonderful.
BTL: Describe Ryan’s look for Spirited. It’s attention-grabbing as a result of within the poster he has a full beard, however not within the movie.
Baker: I don’t know what occurred to the beard! [laughs] Well, he by no means had the beard. They may’ve shot the poster earlier than, as a result of he had a beard within the film earlier than [Spirited], however I believe they shot it after, and he should have grown one thing in [that] time. After we shot this, he took somewhat little bit of break day simply to [be], like, “I must not be working 24/7 for a minute.” He might have grown one then as a result of I believe plenty of males don’t wish to shave day by day. I used to be working on different issues, so I wasn’t part of that poster shoot.
That was simply one of many issues that occurred. It’s hysterical, however he was by no means going to have a beard in Spirited. We mentioned a unique gradation of facial hair, however we would have liked to maintain it easy so they might movie, so we stored him in his basic scruff look.
Ryan Reynolds and Vivian Baker on the set of Spirited/Apple TV+
BTL: What sort of enter did director Sean Anders have into Ryan’s look?
Baker: I had a gathering with Sean [and] it was a big communication with all of us as a result of, whereas it’s Ryan, it’s also the remainder of the forged and every little thing that’s going on with the remainder of the forged. You’re portray the display screen for the entire movie, not only one particular person. So by the point Ryan got here in for the primary display screen check, I already knew the place I used to be going, and it was only a matter of getting it achieved.
BTL: How did you particularly obtain Ryan’s look for the character?
Baker: I can’t discuss solely about myself with out additionally mentioning his hairstylist, Anne Carroll. When we work, we collaborate on him. We are a workforce, and I’d undoubtedly not need to go away her out of something. On this specific one, we had a few flashbacks within the present and talked about fairly just a few seems, and the thought initially was to have him with a bit extra scruff within the facial hair. [But] we determined towards that. We left somewhat bit, and I enhanced it, and I made a decision to maintain him with that signature look of his — that sort of horny, I bought a very nice tan, like one thing out of GQ [look]. That’s what it felt like.
I really feel like I can’t take credit score for God’s work on a regular basis with this good-looking man, however the fact is that there’s a little bit in there to maintain it the identical, from a really early morning name to after sweat-dancing all day lengthy. It gave me the flexibility to have that good shade and look on him, and the flashbacks allowed me to take it away and draw back any beard stuff. With the gorgeous work that Anne did to make his hair somewhat bit longer, I added some longer sideburns, and I simply painted him otherwise. It was stunning to me; he seemed good after we had been in particular person, however once I noticed the movie, I used to be like, that turned out to be simpler than I even gave ourselves credit score for. [laughs]
BTL: What adjectives would you employ to explain this specific look? What had been you going for?
Baker: You can see what his character’s all about by him, simply to keep up the good-looking man that he’s. He’s Clint Briggs. He’s probably the most eligible bachelor on the planet. He must be the sort of particular person that you just simply need to stare at. I imply, he’s dancing and singing. He’s the sexiest particular person alive in this sort of humorous, humorous manner. I lastly bought to actually let him be all of the good-looking boy that he may very well be, and I believed it was enjoyable. On Free Guy, he definitely wanted to be good-looking, however that man was simply sort of a nerd, in order that wasn’t essentially the aim. For The Adam Project, he was somewhat grittier. Ryan continues to be good-looking it doesn’t matter what you do, however this one was, ‘let’s go for it. I imply, you’re in a white go well with, you’re in a tuxedo, you’re in a gold go well with. You know, let’s simply watch you and take pleasure in it.’
Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell in Spirited/Apple TV+
BTL: What’s the largest distinction working with males versus ladies?
Baker: There are totally different necessities. I imply, it’s true that males will sweat greater than ladies, and relying on what you’re doing, that’s an entire totally different ballgame of how to consider that and find out how to preserve that. It’s a unique thought course of to decorate males than ladies, and I actually love them each. I get to put on a unique hat, and I’m actually glad that it’s labored out that manner for me. I’m glad that I by no means simply caught to 1 factor. I’m glad the private door ended up being, like, such a door that I used to be pushed into going into. I’m glad I did it as a result of they’re so totally different, and you actually get to train so many alternative methods and so many alternative expertise as a result of they’re totally different.
BTL: When you say paint, is there any tanning make-up on him, or is that au pure?
Baker: There’s somewhat little bit of each in there. I imply, he’s bought somewhat little bit of that, and I hold it enhanced and underneath management. If we didn’t do something, he may very well be fairly pale. He may very well be somewhat on the pale aspect, so there’s a little little bit of enhancement there. I believe I see it because the paint as I’m portray, and it’s actually simply little washes to maneuver issues round. I believe it creates dimension. I wouldn’t say I did eyeliner or something like that. I believe the aim of every little thing I do, it doesn’t matter what it’s, is to just be sure you are targeted on him and what he’s bringing, versus being distracted. I believe that’s what good make-up is — to maintain you within the film and not distracted or eager about one thing else. I hope I obtain that with this. But, he’s himself a really good-looking man, and once more, I get fortunate for that. [sarcastically] It’s sort of arduous within the morning simply to have a look at how good-looking he’s when he is available in. He’s arduous on our eyes, proper? [laughs]
BTL: What would you say is probably the most difficult make-up that you just’ve needed to do with Ryan over time?
Baker: I attempt to make every character distinct. He’s such a well known star, and he’s the sort of person who I believe the viewers appears like they actually know him. They can contact him. He’s their brother; he’s somebody that they know. As an artist, I do plenty of actually various things for him. One of the issues that he has commented on is that I create a personality for him. One of these issues is to create these characters as dramatically as I can go with out, once more, making it a distraction for the viewers. Give him each software accessible in order that on this specific position, he actually feels that character and it actually seems that manner, with out making it such a distraction that the viewers is turned off by it.
Again, they’re seeing Ryan, and they’re seeing his performances because the character he desires, and I’m there to reinforce that. I’ve achieved plenty of issues, and I believe that they’ve been as efficient as The Adam Project. We did plenty of large colorations and plenty of little issues to maintain him puffy-looking and then not puffy-looking so he may discover the character’s arc. I believe the largest problem is when you might have somebody that the viewers members establish with a lot, it’s a must to transfer very fastidiously as to how far you’re gonna separate them out from themselves. I believe Ryan is a type of actors that we like as an viewers, and but he’s a extremely, actually, actually highly effective actor who can achieve this many issues past what we usually see him in.
Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell in Spirited/Apple TV+
BTL: Has he ever expressed how essential you might be to him?
Baker: I’ve a few playing cards from him. I believe that’s the place he thanked me for the work that we’ve achieved. I’m grateful for it. I believe the largest factor is for me to remain true to being me. So someplace in there, he should have appreciated my values and what I carry. I believe the largest factor is to remain true to who I’m. He should have seen one thing about it. It’s finest for me to only keep targeted on what has all the time been essential to me, so I don’t take into consideration that.
BTL: What would you say is your largest power?
Baker: I believe it relies upon on what you do. I’m very lucky that I’ve a large skillset that features prosthetics. I can actually do an enormous arc on somebody. I can actually remodel them, and I believe quite a few my purchasers like me as a result of they’ve stated that I can really create a personality, like, a full-blown one. They really feel assured that as they take on a venture and I’m with them, there’s no limitation to my skillset. So I can present no matter they need as we get to know that character and what it really wants. So it wouldn’t be like, “Oh, you want a damaged nostril, and I’ve to rent another person.” I can deal with that in addition to no matter else is required.
The one factor I’ve heard all of my purchasers, and Ryan, say repeatedly, is that I do create a personality, and generally that character is a good-looking fella, and generally it’s not. The artistry that I do and the skillset that I’ve are a part of trusting me. However, there may be additionally the difficulty of character. There’s additionally, “do I belief you?” You know, once more, it’s intimate, and I discover with males like Ryan, they care loads about their household, and they don’t need somebody round their household that they don’t belief utterly. I believe once I’m retired and I’m not eager about it, perhaps someday I’ll be capable to go, “wow, that was actually groovy.” [But] I don’t pat myself on the again an excessive amount of, so perhaps that’s why. [chuckles]
BTL: What do you assume folks could be most stunned to learn about Ryan that you just found working with him?
Baker: We all really feel like we all know him so properly. I really feel that he presents himself precisely as he’s. What I see in social media and every little thing that he does, I believe he presents himself as precisely who he’s. I don’t assume there’s a unique particular person there. I believe that you just see him as I see him. We see his generosity and how he helps folks. I simply get to see it up shut and private now, and I do know it’s true. There’s no faking there. First of all, there are good males in life; they’re the sort of males who, if all males had been like them, the world could be a greater place. And that’s Ryan. Ryan is a type of folks. He’s a genius in any respect the issues that he does, however he’s actual. He offers the work his all. He’s a extremely, actually good actor. I don’t assume you ever get to see how good he actually is from among the roles that he takes, however I really feel like I’m a greater particular person by the top of the day for spending time with him.
Spirited is now streaming on Apple TV+.


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